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Mount Eerie

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After the release of the Microphones' 2003 album, Mount Eerie, Washington state songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer Phil Elverum took that title as the name of his subsequent project, which expanded on the searching feel of the Microphones' music. He founded the label P.W. Elverum and Sun Ltd., releasing a pair of CD-Rs, Seven New Songs of Mt. Eerie and Mt. Eerie Dances with Wolves/Wolf Mountain Howls in the World in 2004 before Mount Eerie's debut album, No Flashlight, became the label's first official Mount Eerie release in 2005. A CD/LP set with a poster that holds the record for the world's largest album cover, No Flashlight set the tone for Mount Eerie's further, intricately packaged releases, which were prolific; they included The Drums from No Flashlight, Singers (which featured different vocalists singing Elverum's songs), and the electronic-tinged 11 Old Songs of Mount Eerie, all of which also arrived in 2005. A Microphones single, Don't Smoke/Get Off the Internet, and Mount Eerie, Pts. 6-7, a picture disc and book of photographs (and sequel to the Microphones album that started it all), and the Latitudes Series offering Black Wooden, were issued in 2007. Released in 2008, the Black Wooden Ceiling Opening EP introduced Elverum's concept of playing "black metal with natural materials" and featured a different version of "Don't Smoke." Later that year, the concert DVD Fog Movies Live and a split single with No Kids preceded Lost Wisdom, a collaboration with Eric's Trip and Broken Girl singer Julie Doiron and guitarist Fred Squire. Dawn, a journal/CD set written during Elverum's stay in Norway in late 2002/early 2003, arrived in spring 2009, while a full-length of new material, the ambient and black metal-inspired Wind's Poem, was released that summer. Elverum maintained the flurry of activity with White Stag, a CD-R recorded in Portland, Oregon, and 2010's singles compilation Song Islands, Vol. 2. Mount Eerie resurfaced in 2012 with a two-album concept project: Clear Moon, which was recorded in a de-sanctified church, arrived in May, while Ocean Roar followed that September. Live in Bloomington, September 30th, 2011, which featured radically reworked versions of Wind's Poem and Clear Moon songs, arrived in mid-2013. Elverum released another set of versions of these songs with Pre-Human Ideas in November of that year. In 2014, he debuted new Mount Eerie songs while on tour; those songs eventually became 2015's Sauna, a largely contemplative album about "Vikings and zen and real life." That year, Elverum and his wife, musician/illustrator Geneviève Castrée of Woelv and Ô Paon, discovered that Castrée had stage four pancreatic cancer after giving birth to their daughter. Castrée died in July 2016, and two months later, Elverum began writing and recording songs in her work space with her instruments. The results were 2017's A Crow Looked at Me, a sparse, cathartic set inspired by his time with Castrée as well as her death. ~ Heather Phares

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